McPhee speaks as Caps face goalie dilemma
Two years ago, Capitals general manager George McPhee traded the Caps’ 26th pick overall to the Blackhawks for Troy Brouwer.
Last year he dealt prospect Cody Eakin and a second-round pick to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Mike Ribeiro.
This year, the Caps own eight draft picks, including the 23d overall. They also have a backup goaltender, Michal Neuvirth, who wants to be a No. 1, a chance that may not come with Braden Holtby between the pipes.
With that in mind, is McPhee taking offers for Neuvirth leading up to Sunday’s NHL draft in Newark, N.J.?
“We’re not interested in trading him,” McPhee said Monday at a pre-draft news conference at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
“As we’ve often said, it’s the most important position in the game. We’ve got two good ones here and a couple good kids [Philipp Grubauer, Brandon Anderson] down below in Hershey.
“So, we don’t want to be in that position. Goalies get hurt. Goalies can go off their game for a little bit and why not have as many good ones as you can? So, let’s see how this year goes and we’ll go from there.
“They’re both good goalies and I think you need both of them. It’s hard to go with one for 60-70 games. So we’ll see how that goes, but I don’t anticipate doing anything there on the trade front.”
Neuvirth, 25, played in just 13 of the Caps’ 48 games this season [4-5-2] but was signed to a two-year contract extension that will pay him $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons, $650,000 more than Holtby.
After the season Neuvirth made it clear he wants to be a starter and hopes it’s in Washington.
“It was tough to watch Holtsy play but I was supporting him every game,” Neuvirth said last month. “He was winning and there was no need to change anything. You never know what’s going to happen. My goal is to be No. 1 and I will do whatever it takes to be No. 1. I’m happy to stay with this organization and try to get to No. 1 here.”